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Tesla Model 3

IT TAKES 3 (some text hidden) --NONE--

By Jonathan Crouch

Tesla's all-electric Model 3 executive saloon took the American brand into volume territory for the first time. Now it's been significantly improved. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 103

The Model 3 is the car that's really put Tesla on the map and this revised version has been thoroughly updated. It's even more avant garde inside, quieter to drive and better to ride in, plus there's more equipment despite the fact that the entry-level version has a useful price advantage over its rivals. All Model 3s are in this form sleeker and more aerodynamic, helping EV mileage figures that have been gradually improving, with the range of the Dual Motor version being class-leading. So, your next executive saloon? Middle managers who are early adopters of new technology should form an orderly queue.

Backgroundword count: 124

At its launch back in 2017, the Model 3 was the most significant car Tesla had introduced in its history, but even this ambitious US brand couldn't have predicted just how successful it would be. In the first six years of production, over 2 million were sold and the car was frequently the European continent's best seller. It was an accessible, high-performance and technologically advanced contender that appealed to a broad audience and it helped shift perceptions about electric vehicles into the mainstream. By Autumn 2023 though, the EV competition was catching up, hence the need for the heavily revised version of the Model 3 we look at here. There's a sharper look, greater refinement, improved media connectivity and a smarter cabin. Sounds promising.

Driving Experienceword count: 411

There's a lot to get used to behind the wheel of a Model 3 - particularly in this updated version. For this enhanced design, Tesla has decided that it's no longer necessary to provide the column stalks that used to control gear shifting and the indicators. Forward or reverse motion is now activated via a swipe on the right hand side of the central screen that, as before, houses all the main drive instruments. While indicating is now dealt with by buttons on the left hand wheel spoke. As before, there's a choice of two powertrains, an entry-level Rear-Wheel Drive set-up (which goes 318 miles between charges) and a Long Range AWD model (which extends that to 390 miles). Both offer eager performance, with the rear-driven model making 62mph in 6.1s, a figure the AWD version improves to just 4.4s. There's also a top 'Performance' Dual Motor variant with 453bhp, which makes 62mph in 3.1s en route to 153mph. With that, you get adaptive damping and a 'Track Mode' package for sharper handling. Across the range, lots of work has been done on refinement (not a strongpoint of the original model), Tesla introducing 360-degree acoustic glass and adding improved suspension bushings, seals and sound-deadening materials. Otherwise, the drive experience here is much as before. Which means superbly accurate steering, lacking only the final really feelsome element that's integral to a good European rack. And very well modulated set of brakes. There's also firm-ish damping that contributes to excellent body control through the turns, but doesn't crash too much through pot holes or over speed humps. You could actually enjoy yourself driving this car, which is quite a rare experience in an EV. The smooth linearity of the throttle helps -though it's still prone to lurch the car forward like a startled rabbit if used without due care. As before, there's no driving mode system of the kind a combustion-engined competitor in this segment would offer - just three steering settings ('Comfort', 'Standard' or 'Sport') and two acceleration modes ('Standard' and the rather cringily-named 'Chill'). You can activate a 'Slip Start' setting that eases the car away if you happen to be stuck on snow, mud or sand. As for regenerative braking, well you can't control it in the way you can with rival EVs. A Model 3 also dispenses with other driving control features you might be familiar with - a handbrake, an ignition key and a start button for instance.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)




£39,990.00 (At 7 Jun 2024)

£59,990.00 (At 7 Jun 2024)

Max Speed (mph):

125 (RWD)

163 (Performance)

0-62 mph (s):

5.8 (RWD)

3.1 (Performance)

Electric WLTP-Rated Driving Range (miles):


Length (mm):


Width (mm):


Height (mm):


Boot Capacity (l):


Power (ps):

242 (RWD)

453 (Performance)

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

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